Awesome. Inspirational. Spectacular.
These were just some of the comments made Sunday during Dublin's Veterans Day observance. More than 500 people from the community and across the United States were present for the ceremony to honor the Armed Services. Members of various veteran organizations wore period costumes and participated in the gun salute and firing of the cannon.
Powell-Davidson Post 219 members and Mayor James "Red" Seigars welcomed visitors and dignitaries to the event.
U.S. Congressman John Carter presented the city with a U.S. flag and a note to the community.
"This American flag has flown over the Capitol in Washington, D.C.," he wrote. "It is in appreciation for dedication and sacrifice for your country."
Representative Sid Miller (R-Stephenville) presented the Texas flag from the State Capitol. In a salute to Lt. Colonel George A. Davis, Miller said it was an honor to be in Dublin to speak of such a decorated service man.
"He was a WWII fighter ace pilot," Miller said. "He took out seven Japanese fighter planes. In 1945, he flew the first jet propelled plane. And in Korea, there were 59 missions."
Miller said that Lt. Colonel Davis was shot down in Korea during an air battle on Feb. 10, 1945.
Speaking to the many veterans in the audience, he said, "Because of you, our veterans, this is the land of the free and home of the brave."
Glen Blair's bagpipe selections were "God Bless America" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."
Dublin resident Bill Campbell read a personally composed selection of prose, "What is a Veteran?" Excerpts from the reading pay homage to those who have served our country.
"Our soldiers and veterans have become the free protectors of those around the world," he said. "Veterans are found in all walks of life such as doctors and lawyers, in the fields, community leaders, financial advisors, pilots, drivers, builders, bakers, and more."
The end of his selection was a message from the veterans to the land protected. "Rest easy, America. Nothing is going to bother you…not on my watch."
Campbell praised the Patriot Guard Riders who attended the ceremony and framed the audience holding poled American flags.
"The last time I checked their Web site, there were over 111,000 strong who are willing to go where invited and stand their posts," he said.
Members of the Elks Lodge unveiled the Wall and the flag draped plaque was revealed.
Jeanette Ward, director of the Chamber of Commerce, expressed her appreciation to the many who donated personal time to make the day a success and to those who made monetary donations to enable the day's plan to become a reality.
A replica of the Liberty Bell was rung and the Sons of Confederate Veterans gave a gun salute, followed by the firing of the cannon.
A fly over of WWII planes in fallen hero formation ended the ceremony.
SHERRY BOARDMAN is a staff writer for the Empire-Tribune and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-965-3124, ext. 229.